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Rottnest Island 20-22 October 2023

Once you step onto that ferry, you are in holiday mode! Rottnest Island was awaiting us with all its beauty - we could not have wished for better conditions throughout the weekend!

Friday afternoon, twelve excited swimmers were greeted in one of our Longreach bay units. Everyone introduced themselves, filled out the necessary paperwork and was gifted with some fab merch! The group seemed in great spirits as we headed towards the Army jetty on our bikes. Freedom, sunshine and happiness!

Amazing coach Paul Newsome arrived shortly after us and pointed out the swim map. We were swimming around boats and buoys and enjoying our very first swim of many more to come. The water was clear, a little cool, but fine to swim in without a wettie. After one lap, a few decided to save energy for the next few days, whereas others chose to swim a couple more.

After a nice warm shower and a little rest, we met at Pinky's restaurant for a nice meal and a few drinks. The atmosphere amongst the group was great, all sharing their swimming and life stories and getting to know each other.

Swimwild Escape Bike ride at Rottnest island

The whole of Saturday we spent riding our bikes from bay to bay, swimming in them and exploring this magical island. Paul Newsome from Swim Smooth gave invaluable open-water swimming tips and provided individual feedback. It is such an honour to have one of Perth's best coaches guide us. The water was pancake flat, clear and just perfect! We swam with giant stingrays and plentiful of beautiful fishes.

Swimwild Escape Lunch

After a well-deserved rest and lunch, those with some energy left met at Longreach Bay for a butterfly session. That's right: butterfly! After much hesitation and sceptical remarks, we jumped in to give it a go. Cyrus taught us his endurance Cyfly technique - how absolutely amazing! With his brilliant method, you can actually swim butterfly over a distance and even feel relaxed about it! Who would have thought...

After a hearty meal at Geordie's Bay cafe, laughs, and entertainment with Cyrus' party tricks later, we exhaustingly but very satisfied and happy with the world, plumped into our beds and fell asleep straight away. What an incredible day that was!

The alarm went off very early on Sunday as - what a coincidence - the legend Andy Donaldson was leaving Rottnest Island for his mammoth Telethon swim-run-swim that day! We greeted him on the jetty and watched him get ready for his big day ahead. What a sight, seeing him swim off towards Perth with the sun coming up and the wake he was making! What a lovely and humble man!

We then went to the Basin for an early swim - with no one there apart from us and, once again, in perfect conditions. It was an incredible last swim to round off a terrific weekend. After a delicious breakfast, we said our goodbyes and left with new friendships made, wonderful memories and our cups overflowing! Til next time, beautiful Rottnest Island.

Simone Blaser


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